Having diabetes, there are a lot of things I miss, but the biggest thing is the feeling of sinking my teeth into a moist, rich, chocolate cake.
The kind where the icing sticks to your teeth and it’s really thick and velvety and sweet.
Many days have gone by and I have missed the taste and texture of a big helping of chocolate cake! Nothing works as a substitute when you’re having a serious chocolate cake craving!
Well crave no more. My seriously chocolatey, chocolate ricotta cake is so light, so moist, and feels like eating the real thing without all the carbs and sugar overload.
At only one portion per serve, it will conquer your chocolate craving without leaving you feeling guilty.
I have to admit though, it wasn’t easy coming up with this recipe. Well the ricotta cake part wasn’t that hard, but creating a chocolate icing that was smooth, velvety and with a thick consistency that you could sink your teeth into, was a mean feat.
I can honestly say I stayed up for several nights over the last six months, coming up with icing substitutes.
Many trips to the shops and I thought I had stumbled across the answer. When I found ‘no sugar’ icing at my local health food store, I thought I had struck gold. But the detective in me was possessed to read the back of the packet and low and behold it was another example of marketing gone mad.
It was in fact no sugar, but it was instead made from xylitol, which is a sugar alcohol and does impact blood sugar levels. The back of the packet listed pretty much zero carbs, but if you read the back of a packet of 100% pure xylitol, it’s more like 70g per 100g – yayks!
Sugar alcohols are often used in ‘no sugar’ products and you need to be careful when using these as they do impact blood sugar even though the nutritional label may not list this detail. To find out more, read my earlier post Sweeteners Explained.
So, it was back to the drawing board. My second idea led me to research options to bulk up my icing. I like to use 100% pure Stevia for sweetness, but you don’t need a lot of it, so it creates the problem of finding an ingredient to add body to the icing mixture. I researched natural fibre options and coconut flour, but this created a woody texture rather than the nice silky velvety texture I was after.
Avocado. Wow, I thought this was another great alternative. I’ve seen a few recipes that use avocado as a base for icing, so I gave it a go. It created a beautiful velvety smooth texture and great body, but unfortunately I just couldn’t get past the fact that it tasted like, well… avocado.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of avos, but in an icing for cakes, it just wasn’t overly palatable for me. So back to the kitchen I went to trial some other options.
So back to the kitchen I went and this time I tried using cashew paste/spread, which is literally just raw cashews mashed into a liquid paste-like texture, much like peanut butter.
This seemed like a great option as it was really smooth and rich and had the body I was looking for to bulk up the icing. So I added a few other ingredients and gave it a go, but to my disappointment, it just didn’t hit the mark. It tasted nice, but it just wasn’t icing!
Oh boy, so for my fifth attempt, I thought I’d give good old Greek Yoghurt a go. Its really thick and creamy and is a great alternative to using butter and cream. So I gave it a try, but again, it didn’t hit the mark. The texture was amazing and it was so easy to spread on the cakes, but it was just too sour.
After all these attempts to make a seriously decadent diabetic-friendly icing, I figured it just wasn’t going to work and I’d have to continue to only dream about eating rich fudgy chocolate cake.
But one day I was mixing up my son’s baby formula and something possessed me to try milk powder. I gave it a go and mixed it with Stevia powder, cocoa powder, a dash of warm milk and coconut oil.
You beauty, it worked! The result was a rich, dark chocolate icing that had body and texture to die for.
So here is my decadent yet guilt free, diabetic-friendly chocolate ricotta cake, with a velvety smooth dark chocolate icing you’ll love to sink your teeth into!
Feel free to email me or leave a comment in the comment section of this blog and tell me about your food challenges living with diabetes. I’d love to hear from you!
Diabetic friendly Chocolate Ricotta Cakes
- 100 g Almond meal
- 1 large (800g) Egg
- 1 tsp 100% pure sugar free vanilla extract
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tbsp Unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp 100% pure Stevia extract powder
- 100 g Smooth light ricotta
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon powder
- 1/4 cup Full cream milk
For the icing: 2 tbsp full cream milk, 4 tbsp full cream milk powder, 1.5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/8 tsp 100% pure Stevia extract powder, 1 tsp coconut oil.
Pre-head oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Oil the base and sides of two mini bundt tins or ramekins.
Place all dry ingredients including the almond meal, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa, cinnamon and Stevia into a bowl and mix well.
Place the wet ingredients including the egg, vanilla, ricotta and milk into a separate bowl and mix well to combine.
Combine wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and mix well.
Spoon the mixture into the two ramekins and bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until cooked (test with a wooden skewer). Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Once the cakes have cooled make the icing by placing the milk powder, sifted cocoa and Stevia into a bowl and mix well.
In a small cup, place the milk and coconut oil and heat in the microwave for approximately 40 seconds and mix well. Combine the milk and oil with the dry ingredients and mix well.
Drizzle the icing over the cakes.